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Assault Girls

2.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When a video-game company creates an immersive gaming environment where players wage war against gigantic sand-dwelling monsters, three gorgeous gals armed to the teeth (Meisa Kuroki, Hinako Saeki and Rinko Kikuchi) accept the challenge and jump into the virtual desert. But as they blaze their way into the game's higher levels, they face ever-more ferocious foes. Yoshikazu Fujiki also stars in this sci-fi action flick from director Mamoru Oshii.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rinko Kikuchi, Yoshikazu Fujiki, Meisa Kuroki, Hinako Saeki
  • Directors: Mamoru Oshii
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003V5OO9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie is classic Oshii but with out much of a plot. Long moments of slow scenic scenes punctuated by bits of action. When I say long and slow, I mean it. One potion of the move involves a sort of montage of the four characters walking through the desert and dealing with a snail... for 15 minutes.

The action is hokey and done more for imagery then the action itself. Its fun to see the girls pose as they fire guns or spells.

The CG is obvious but sufficient for getting the point across. This is not a big Hollywood blockbuster so don't expect King Kong or Avatar level effects, this is only a step above TV shows like Sanctuary..

The characters are only hinted at. There really isn't any development and they have little dialog. (one has nothing but a few squawks) They are simply defined by mannerisms and costume.

The story is bare one. Its only about the four putting aside their name calling for five minutes to defeat the end boss. That is it. The story could have been done in thirty minutes (or 15) but its Oshii and he loves to draw out scenes of the characters cooking, or watching the sunset or spontaneously dancing. It would have been much better if it had cut down on the sunsets and you could actually see how Grey convinced the other two to join the party.

This isn't a bad flick. Its just not a good one either. Everything is interesting over exciting or dramatic and the philosophical bit are out of place. It has fun moments too, like the duel. All in all, I didn't hate it, but it'll be a rare occurrence when I pull it off the shelf to watch it again.

One thing I want to add. If you have ever played an MMO you will appreciate some of the strangeness of the movie if you catch it.
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After watching the trailer on Youtube I just had to have this movie. I've always been a fan of Japanese live action sci-fi. Unfortunately, the trailer contains all of the great action sequences and what you get during the film is a whole lot of slow, plodding moments where the characters either stare off into the distance or dance for no reason while the narrator repeats his dire warning that the primary monster in the game cannot be killed by a single player. I actually fell asleep halfway through and had to re-watch the back half once I woke up. I only recommend this film for collectors of Japanese science fiction. I doubt I re-watch this anytime soon.
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Though I'm a fan of Oshii's movies, I'm always conflicted about recommending his movies to those who have made a diet of traditional Hollywood films. Many of his films integrate Hollywood style sequences with his preferred style of pacing; which is typically very deliberate and slow. "Assault Girls" is no different, although he does shake things up a bit with the movie's structure. Those who have familiarized themselves with Oshii's work know that extended takes and long monologues are signature of his films. With "Assault Girls" he modulates these elements into chapters. The pre-chapter introduction opens up with a 10 minute monologue that provides a basis for the story, the creation of the game Avalon, as well as giving Oshii a chance to make statements about "Pax Technologica" in a globalized society. The voice over is a bit mumbled and subtitles, which are disabled at this point in the film, would have helped in penetrating the dense editorial text of this narrative. However, after rewinding a few times for clarification, I found the lengthy introduction to be thought-provoking and my favorite segment of the film.

Following the introduction we get five chapters that take us through a sort of mini-plot that finds four competing characters having no choice but to put aside their quarrels in order to battle the big boss of the game Avalon, who otherwise could not be defeated alone.
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For myself, I would give it more stars, because I got it for the visuals -- the landscapes, the costumes, the atmosphere -- and Rinko Kikuchi. It's very atmospheric and has a strange loveliness to it, the beauty of deserts and empty places. And Kikuchi is adorable and beautiful. The other ladies in the film are also gorgeous with wonderful costumes and very strong, determined, independent personalities. And there are some funny moments -- I laughed aloud a couple of times.

If you're looking for a film with things like a plot, or character development, or suspense, or big action scenes? Well, it has a plot, but it's so ridiculously simple it barely counts. There's very little character development -- and by "very little" I mean I didn't see any. You learn one or two things about a couple of the characters, but it only comes in brief moments of dialog and is never followed up on. There's a tiny bit of suspense as you wonder whether [spoilers], and the action scenes provide just enough action to highlight the overall quietness of the landscape and the film. It's set in a virtual reality MMO, and I'll tell you, if my game had so little actual action in it I would probably stop playing.

I can't recommend it for most moviegoers, but if you're drawn to movies that are beautiful to look at and you don't need much more, well, this one is, in my opinion, beautiful to look at. I only wish I could find out where it was filmed.
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